About 4,000 runners will take to the streets of Myrtle Beach on Saturday morning and early afternoon for the 24th Myrtle Beach Marathon and affiliated races, and motorists will want to avoid several areas to circumvent road closures and heavy congestion.
U.S. 17 Bypass will not be affected by the marathon, half-marathon or 5k races and should be used as the primary route for north/south travel through the city.
Travel on Kings Highway both northbound and southbound will be impacted in several areas.
Vehicles on Ocean Boulevard will only be allowed to travel southbound from 82nd Parkway to South Kings Highway, and Ocean Boulevard southbound will also be closed to vehicles between 12th Avenue North and 8th Avenue North from 6 a.m. until about 10 a.m.
Guests staying in Ocean Boulevard hotels are advised to park on the west side of the road Friday night to avoid significant delays. Police officers will be positioned along Ocean Boulevard to assist with crossing the street when runners aren’t present. Parking along Ocean Boulevard will be prohibited after 1 a.m. Saturday.
South Kings Highway will be among the roads most affected. It will be closed from Mr. Joe White Avenue on the north end to Farrow Parkway on the south end from 6 a.m. until the final runner exits the Market Common area, which authorities expect to occur around 9:30 a.m.
Particularly congested intersections will be on Grissom Parkway at both 21st Avenue North and 29th Avenue North, on Kings Highway at both Grande Dunes Boulevard and 82nd Avenue North, and Mr. Joe White Avenue at Kings Highway, Grissom Parkway and Oak Street for much of the morning.
The marathon course has changed slightly this year. Runners no longer will turn off Grissom Parkway to run along Oleander Drive, and won’t leave Farrow Parkway to run on Howard Avenue to avoid most residences and businesses in Market Common.
Race distance has been added on Farrow and Granddaddy Drive to make up for the changes.
“It’s so built out there now [on Howard Avenue], it’s an inconvenience for residents and businesses in there,” said Myrtle Beach Police Master Cpl. Henry Bresadola.
Detours and delays
The Myrtle Beach Police information line at 843-918-4636 (INFO) will provide directions for motorists to get from one destination to another from 6 a.m. Saturday until the completion of the race.
If drivers are planning to travel in the city on Saturday, marathon organizers and the city have provided these notes:
- To access Broadway at the Beach, use U.S. 17 Bypass and 29th Avenue North. There will be no access to Broadway from the two Grissom Parkway entrances from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Expect delays in front of Pelicans Ballpark until 2 p.m. while a temporary crosswalk is in use.
- All lanes of Grissom Parkway will be closed from 21st Avenue North to Mr. Joe White Avenue from 4-11 a.m. All lanes will be closed from 29th Avenue North to 21st Avenue North from 4 to 8 a.m. One southbound lane will be closed from Granddaddy Boulevard to Pelicans Ballpark from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Expect major delays when attempting to cross Grissom Parkway at 48th Avenue North, 38th Avenue North, 29th Avenue North and 21st Avenue North from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Mr. Joe White Avenue will be closed to all traffic from Kings Highway to Grissom Parkway from 5:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
- If traveling Kings Highway between Mr. Joe White Avenue and the southern city limit, leave before 6 a.m. to enjoy an open window of access.
- Expect an increasingly difficult exit from side streets and parking lots on the west side of Kings Highway from 6 a.m. until approximately 8 a.m.
- North and southbound lanes of Kings Highway near the intersection of Mr. Joe White Avenue will be shut down at 6 a.m.
- Northbound lanes entering the city on Kings Highway from Surfside Beach will be sent back south at Myrtle Beach State Park until the last runner exits Market Common at roughly 9:30 a.m. Southbound lanes will be diverted at Harrelson Boulevard until that time.
- The left lanes and median on Farrow Parkway will be reserved for runners. Traffic on Farrow Parkway will use right lanes in both directions.
- There will be no access to northbound Kings Highway from Farrow Parkway until about 9:30 a.m. All northbound traffic from this area should use 17 Bypass. There will be access to businesses on Farrow Parkway from Shine Ave.
- Expect delays while attempting to enter or exit hotels on the east side of Ocean Boulevard.
- All northbound lanes of Ocean Boulevard from South Kings Highway to 82nd Parkway will be closed from 6 a.m. to 12 noon.
- Southbound lanes of Ocean Boulevard from 12th Avenue North to 8th Avenue North will be closed from 6 to 10 a.m.
- Grande Dunes Boulevard will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon.
- All traffic on Kings Highway will experience major delays near the intersection of Grande Dunes Boulevard from 8 to 11 a.m.
- Traffic crossing Kings Highway at 82nd Parkway, 79th Avenue North, 76th Avenue North and 67th Avenue North will experience major delays from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon.
- 65th Avenue North will be closed to westbound traffic from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Frontage Road between 62nd Avenue North and 65th Avenue North will be closed to southbound traffic from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Granddaddy Boulevard will be closed, so enter Pine Lakes Country Club from Woodside Avenue.